Creating things out of fabric ?

Advice for those new to the concepts of copyright
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Creativemum
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Creating things out of fabric ?

Post by Creativemum » Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:17 pm

Hi, I,m a creative mum who makes handmade items and sells them on ebay/etsy. I have bought some fabric which shows characters from Disneys Frozen. Can i make, say a bag out of this fabric and sell it ? Nobody else is doing what i have in mind and im wondering if copyright laws or licensing are preventing other people from doing this? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Also, along the same lines - some craft shops are selling fabric panels of Olaf/Frozen characters. Can i incorporate this panel into a wall hanging/Pillow/Cushion/Quilt and re sell it ?

So much lovely fabric, so many ideas but will it be legal ??

Thank you

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:10 pm

Hi creativemum,
There are two separate aspects to what you want to do.
Assuming that the fabric is made under licence, then there should not be a copyright issue with you making products from it. Depending on what information your supplier can provide about the manufacturer, it may require bit of detective work to find the answer on the licensing issue. Additionally, if the manufacturer's name or other details are printed on the selvedge this would be another line you could follow. However if you have no luck with either of those lines of enquiry, you could try sending a small sample to the Disney Corporation and ask them if they have licensed this particular product. I suggest you do this through their UK office to start with: The Walt Disney Company Limited, 3 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, London W6 9PE. If the fabric is unlicensed, then you may well be liable for secondary copyright infringement by dealing in unlicensed copies, if you try selling products using the fabric.

The main area where you are likely to encounter problems is with the various registered trade marks associated with Frozen. Since your products will inevitably create an immediate association in the minds of your customers with Disney, this will put you at risk of infringing their trade mark(s) even if the fabric is a genuine licensed product. For this reason you will probably need to get a licence from Disney to safely sell your products. Because Disney actively protect their branding, I'm sure you are right that is why there aren't similar items made from this fabric already on the market.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

Creativemum
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Post by Creativemum » Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:03 pm

Thank you very much for a speedy reply x

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